ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Child Marriages and the Law

Contemporary Concerns

Child marriages are widely prevalent in India despite the promulgation of various laws. This paper examines the policy debates and legal framework on child marriage, and sets out to help identify the gaps and problems therein. It tries to understand the historical and sociolegal context within which the debates on child marriage are located and the various associated aspects like age of discretion, guardianship and elopement that play out in jurisprudence. It attempts to capture how these debates have furthered the movement against the practice of child marriage.

I would like to thank Samita Sen and Kalpana Kannabiran for their critical inputs. The research for this article has been supported by Asmita Resource Centre for Women and Council for Social Development, Hyderabad, as part of a collaborative research-cum-advocacy programme on “Combating Child Marriage, Eliminating Discrimination against the Girl Child”. Financial support for this project was provided by The Ford Foundation, Delhi, and the Department of Planning, Government of Andhra Pradesh.


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